Monday, August 21, 2006

Writing... Why Do We Do This To Ourselves?


It's all well and good to write, if only to get the voices speaking to us to shush the heckadoodle up, but some of us take it a step further. We want to be published authors.

Are we insane?

Probably, after all, we listen to those voices speaking in our heads. We write down what they say. We talk about the "people" up there like they're "Real People."

"Wait a minute, here! Are you saying that I am a figment of your imagination?!" *Character from Current WIP, highly offended.

"Yes, dear. You are a real figment of my overactive imagination. You are real to me, and if I do my job right, you'll be real to those who read your story."

So. Why do we do this to ourselves? We write our rough drafts, often moaning and groaning about how dreckful it is and who are we to think we could possibly string together a interesting sentence, much less an entire novel of interesting sentences? Often we inflict this rough draft on critique partners--- wonderful writers like ourselves, who can look at said rough draft dreck and see the pearl in the rough--- give suggestions on how to make it "better." "What? Did you just tell me my child, my baby that I gave birth to after a day and a half of labor, followed by an emergency c-section, this miracle of miracles -- is UGLY? Them's fightin' words!"

"Yes, dear. That's exactly what I told you, but, trust me! You can polish this baby up, fix this, that and the other thing. Your baby will be a Beauty Queen (or King)."

We revise. We edit. We polish. We send it off to our crit partners again.

"Much better. I liked this, that and the other thing, but your transition here could be better, and what about adding some more emotion? You can't ever have too much of that."

What the writer hears: "This bites crusty, moldy Twinkies."

We revise. We edit. We polish. We send it off to our crit partners again.

"Lovely. Now, do you have your query letter ready to go? How's that synopsis? Got enough ink in your printer? Time to submit. Don't forget to get a receipt at the post office, it's tax deductible. Also, pop for the delivery confirmation, so you can check online obsessively to see if your novel arrived."

Being an editor myself, I can tell you--- if your synopsis/query/partial doesn't grab the editor in its enthralling embrace from Word One, you're going to be the recipient of the dreaded "R." Rejection.

And then, you get back on that dead horse and beat it to death again.

If you've managed to captivate the editor, you're on a different path. A path that includes nifty things like line edits. Galley proofs.

Writing. Why do we do this to ourselves?

I know I do it because I'm addicted to it. It's like chocolate or caffiend. I write because I love to write. Plain and simple.

What's your excuse?

No comments: